Kelly Lohman is like many other young professionals in Palm Coast, trying to grow a business. Hers is called Socialsmidge, a social media marketing company, which has helped a nonprofit group expand its active membership from four to 19 people.
“The only effort was social media,” Lohman said. She added that other businesses from out of town have used her services to reach out to other businesses in Palm Coast, testing the market before attempting to expand into this area.
But in her efforts, she has found a lack of face-to-face networking opportunities with other young professionals.
“The main thing I find here is the people in the older generation only do business with people in the older generation,” she said. “They run in a circle of friends, and they’ve done business with each other for 10 years. You stick to what you know, and who you know, and who you like. So if we young professionals can network with each other and give each other referrals, (we can) help each other’s business grow.”
Lohman has already been active in the community. She attends Chamber of Commerce events, and she organized Pilates in the Park, which raised $2,245 for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. She’s planning a follow-up in conjunction with the Chamber’s Run for Your Life event in March.
But in the meantime, she has also taken the invitation of Rotary Club of Flagler Beach to start a young professionals networking and leadership development group, called Rotaract.
The group started in November and now has 13 members, who meet the second Thursday of each month for networking and a guest speaker. A recent speaker was Keith Cameron Smith, author of “The Ten Distinctions Between Millionaires and the Middle Class.”
Lohman said the group is also planning to follow Rotary’s lead, adopting the same slogan: “Service above self.”
“We’re looking for people who have a passion for helping others,” she said.
The next meeting is 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 13, at RE/MAX Oceanside, 2651 E. Moody Blvd., Flagler Beach. Open to newcomers 18 to 40. E-mail [email protected].
— Brian McMillan